Nadiya Hussein Should be Balanced by Critical Muslim Celebrity

Nadiya Hussein seemed to prove me right in the second episode of her Chronicles of Nadiya when she said that maybe that’s why she’s here, to spread Islam, sounding like a modern prophet. I’d said the first episode looked like an advert for Islam before the second episode aired.

British Media Misrepresenting Islamic Women

There was no mention of the problems for secular and gay people, and Bangladesh was shown as quite idyllic, with the Hindu minority represented by a fisherman who used otters. I know life is difficult for Muslim minorities around the world too.

It was ironic that the documentary was on the same time as it was being reported that Nadiya’s fellow British Muslim woman Samia Shahid had been raped and murdered by her first husband and family in Pakistan.

Her death had originally been declared a heart attack, but her second Muslim husband didn’t accept it, and it was only through his courageous investigation that the truth was uncovered.

British Primetime Media More Like Original Shahid Investigation

While the British news media can still be investigative on such issues, those documentaries are usually not watched by casual viewers, who prefer ‘nice’ programmes presented by ‘nice’ people, like Nadiya Hussein.

It seems as though those who use Nadiya Hussein to represent Muslim women are more like the original Samia Shahid investigation – willing to accept the word of the male patriarchy and women who accept it, and cover up all the nasty stuff that goes on underneath.

The British establishment has been trying to ignore all the crimes against women in British Islam, and now has its role model to make out that Muslim women are all happy to be secondary citizens – they probably hope that British women will follow suit.

We don’t hear of Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the mainstream British media – a woman who grew up under Islam in Somalia, but has since become an atheist, and critic of life for women in Islam. She has moved to the U.S.A. after death threats, and her film-making colleague Theo Van Gogh was murdered by an Islamist in 2004.

More Balance Please

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been described as an extremist, and I accept that.

However, I think she is only an extremist critical reflection of Nadiya Hussein’s extremist acceptable Muslim woman.

Malala Yousafzai is probably in the middle – a victim of the Taliban who is still a hijab-wearing Muslim. I was supporting such women at the start of my creative writing decade.

I watched the movie Lone Survivor recently, which balanced American troops fighting with the Taliban with the lone survivor being rescued by anti-Taliban Pashtun Afghans.

I just wish the British media would have the same balance, instead of representing life for Muslim women and Islamic countries through a celebrity who wants to spread Islam as it is, or with very little reform.

It is no wonder people are supporting I.S., and wanting to go and live with them, when all they see is how wonderful Islamic life is, and especially when it is presented by a ‘nice believable’ woman like Nadiya Hussein.


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